Israelis Support Trump More Than Almost Any Other Nation, Poll Shows

64% of respondents in the 33 countries surveyed said they don’t trust Trump to ‘do the right thing regarding world affairs,’ while only 29% said they rely on the president as far as global issues are concerned

Amir Tibon
Amir Tibon
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File photo: President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, September 18, 2017.
File photo: President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, September 18, 2017.Credit: Evan Vucci/AP
Amir Tibon
Amir Tibon

WASHINGTON – Citizens of Israel and the Philippines have more confidence in U.S. President Donald Trump than the citizens of any other country in the world, a new Pew Research Center poll finds.

The extensive survey, published Wednesday, includes interviews with more than 36,000 people in 33 countries. It also shows significant differences in how Trump is perceived by Jewish and non-Jewish Israelis.

Overall, 64 percent of all respondents said they don’t trust Trump to “do the right thing regarding world affairs,” while only 29 percent said they rely on the U.S. president as far as global issues are concerned.

Furthermore, those polled said they have the least confidence in Trump when compared to other world leaders – German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump was followed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, with 57 percent of respondents saying they have no confidence in him.

The support Trump received differed in the countries polled, with 89 percent of Mexican respondents saying they don’t trust Trump’s leadership skills, while 85 percent of German nationals participating in the poll say they don’t have any confidence in the U.S. president.

In addition, 84 percent of Turks, 81 percent of Swedes, and 78 percent of French and Spanish nationals polled also said they have no confidence in Trump.

In Tunisia, 75 percent expressed disbelief in Trump’s capabilities as a leader, closely followed by Canadian nationals – 74 percent of whom echoed the same sentiment.

Moreover, more than half of the respondents in the United Kingdom and Australia – two historically close allies of the United States – said they have no confidence in Trump, with 67 percent of British and 64 percent of Australian citizens expressing discontent with the U.S. president.

The survey also shows that a majority of respondents said they trust Trump in only six of the 33 surveyed countries. The country where Trump enjoys the highest level of confidence is the Philippines, with 77 percent of support. Israel came second, with 71 percent of respondents giving him a vote of confidence. Trump received 65 percent of support in Kenya, 58 percent in Nigeria, 56 percent in India and 51 percent in Poland.

The Pew Research Center has also examined the level of confidence enjoyed by former U.S. presidents worldwide.

In 2012, former President Barack Obama received much higher levels of support in most countries polled, but a lower level of confidence among Israelis, with only 49 percent of respondents saying they were pleased with his performance.

A poll released in 2003 showed that 83 percent of Israeli respondents expressed confidence in Obama’s Republican predecessor, George W. Bush – a higher level of support than the one currently enjoyed by Trump.

While right-wing respondents in the countries polled this year expressed more belief in Trump’s abilities, and respondents who identified as centrists or leftists said they have very little confidence in the president, Israel is a notable exception.

Eighty-six percent of rightists, 67 percent of centrists and 37 percent of left-wing respondents in Israel said they trust Trump as a leader, surpassing the support Trump received among center-left respondents in most countries surveyed.

The poll also examined public opinion to policy decisions made by Trump. Sixty-six percent of those taking part in the survey disapproved of the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on combating climate change, and 52 percent opposed his pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018.

Trump’s only policy that was found to be somewhat popular in the countries polled is his decision to hold nuclear talks with North Korea, which won the approval of 41 percent of respondents and the disapproval of 36 percent.

Israel, however, presents a more complex picture. As far as Iran is concerned, 66 percent of Israelis expressed content with Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal, while only 23 percent disapprove of it. This makes Israel the only country in the world where a majority supports the controversial move.

However, 59 percent of Israelis oppose Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris Agreement. In addition, 58 percent of Israelis support Trump’s immigration policies – despite the fact that these have included new restrictions that have made it more difficult for Israelis to obtain visas to the United States.

Previous opinion polls, including those conducted by Pew, have shown that Trump is very unpopular in most countries, including among traditional U.S. allies, but that he enjoys a high level of support in Israel.

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